Luga Podesta, MD

Director of Sports Medicine
Orthopedic & Regenerative Medicine


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Throughout his impressive 24-year career, Dr. Podesta has been dedicated to restoring his patients’ quality of life. He takes great pride in his ability to quickly and safely return patients to the life they want to live; whether that is playing a sport, working, or enjoying recreational activities. His typical patient is anything but typical and includes all who seek his expertise, including professional athletes, musicians and performing artists as well as weekend warriors, high school, college, recreational and youth athletes.

Dr. Podesta is a nationally recognized sports medicine physician specializing in the non-surgical treatment of orthopedic, musculoskeletal and sports-related injuries to the shoulder, elbow, knee, and spine. He brings with him a wealth of experience on and off the field and is considered a pioneer in the new field of Regenerative Medicine; an area of medicine with the potential to fully heal damaged tissues. It offers hope for individuals who are unable to or do not choose to undergo surgery.

Dr. Podesta serves as a consultant to the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament, Major League Baseball Umpires and World Baseball Classic and as a sports performance consultant to Cirque Du Soleil-Iris. He is the head team physician for Suffolk Community College athletics and team physician and consultant to a number of Suffolk County, New York high school athletic programs and elite sport clubs.

Dr. Podesta served as the medical director and head team physician for the Los Angeles Kiss (Arena Football League) from 2014-2015 and served as team physician for the Los Angeles Angels Baseball team (2010-2013) and the Los Angeles Dodgers (1990-2006.) He also served as head team physician for the World Champion LA Xtreme (XFL) (2001) the Los Angeles Avengers, AFL (2002-2008) the Los Angeles Riptide MLL (2006-2008,) Oxnard College, and as team physician for Loyola Marymount University. Past consultant roles have included the Los Angeles Lakers and as a training camp consultant to the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints.


Dr. Luga Podesta is a highly sought after sports medicine physician with over 2 decades of experience.

  • Expert Diagnostician with the ability to evaluate the entire body and determine abnormal function predisposing to injury and dysfunction.
  • Expert in the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions involving the cervical, thoracic and lumbosacral spine, shoulder, elbow, hip, knee and ankle.
  • Expert Treatment of acute and chronic injuries involving tendons, muscles, ligaments and joints throughout the body.
  • A pioneer in Regenerative Medicine and expert in the use of cell-based therapies, such as Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and Mesenchymal Stem Cells derived from bone marrow concentrate, for the treatment of acute and chronic muscle, ligament, tendon, articular cartilage injuries and arthritic conditions.
  • Throwing Athletes: An expert in the diagnosis and treatment of the unique injuries that occur in overhand throwing athletes (baseball, softball, tennis, volleyball and water polo). Expert in the analysis and correction of throwing and hitting mechanics.
  • Sports Performance: An expert in developing strategies to transition the injured athlete back to the playing field once treatment and therapy have been completed, returning the athlete to peak function and competitive performance.
  • Diagnostic Musculoskeletal Ultrasound for evaluation of muscle, ligament and tendon injuries, emphasizing dynamic evaluation of joint instability resulting from ligamentous laxity predisposing to injury.
  • Ultrasound Guided Injections: An expert in the performance of precision injections of muscle, tendon, ligament and joint injuries including steroid, visco supplementation with hyaluronic acid, peripheral nerve hydro-dissection and regenerative cell-based therapies such as PRP and bone marrow derived stem cell therapies.
  • Lumbar Spinal Injections for the treatment of pain resulting from lumbar vertebral disc injuries, herniations, nerve compression, and spinal stenosis or facet joint related pain.
  • Performing Arts Medicine: An expert in analyzing the injuries sustained by drummers, percussionists, guitar and keyboard players, dancers and other performers artists with a proven track record of keeping the best of the best on stage performing safely.

To schedule an appointment, please call Dr. Podesta's office at (631) 689-4184

East Setauket

6 Technology Drive
East Setauket, New York 11733


500 Commack Road
Suite 150B
Commack, NY 11725


55 Medford Avenue
Suite E
Patchogue, NY 11772



Dr. Luga Podesta discusses how high pitch counts can be dangerous for high school pitchers. March 6, 2017:

Dr. Luga Podesta discusses WWE Diva Paige's suspension for violation of the WWE Wellness Policy. WWE Diva Paige Suspended for Violating Confusing Wellness Policy in Yahoo, October 11, 2016

Dr. Luga Podesta discusses his thoughts on the future of biologics therapies and regenerative medicine over the next 5-10 years. October 7, 2016 Becker’s Orthopedic & Spine Review, Article Link:

Dr. Luga Podesta explains the rationale why MRI scans are utilized so frequently in sports medicine. October 5, 2016

Dr. Podesta interviewed by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram about Houston Texans’ DE JJ Watt reinjuring his back September 30, 2016 Article Link:

Dr. Luga Podesta discusses the New England Patriot's quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo's injury this Sunday with the Boston Globe. September 19, 2016 Article Link:

Dr. Podesta weighs in on the Denver Bronco's DeMarcus Ware's right wrist injury for KMGH-TV (ABC in Denver). September 19, 2016 Article Link:


Regenerative Cell Based Therapy

Regardless of how an acute injury occurs, that injury is followed by an instantaneous and intense inflammatory response, which stimulates tissue to begin the healing process.

All tissue in our body tries to regenerate itself. However, this response is overshadowed by an evolutionary selected quick-fix known as scarring. Ultimately, what we want to do is decrease that scarring event and accentuate that innate regenerative process. By adding regenerative cells found in our blood, bone marrow and adipose tissues at appropriate times after an injury, we can actually reverse this process and jump start the tissues regenerative capabilities.

When higher concentrations of these regenerative cells are used to treat an injury, these cells will promote tissue healing and regeneration by enhancing the recruitment, proliferation and differentiation of cells involved in that tissues regeneration accelerating the healing process. There are 3 necessary components of regenerative cell based therapies-cells, scaffolds and growth factors. Tissue healing responses may be different depending on the tissue treated and whether or not the injury is acute or chronic.


prp page 1+

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Further Reading:

Treating Injuries with  Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)

Treating Injuries with Bone Marrow Concentrate and Mesenchymal Stem Cells


Regenerative Sports Medicine

By Luga Podesta, MD

St. Charles Sports Medicine is proud to offer cutting edge treatments from an exciting new area of medicine, regenerative medicine. These therapeutic treatments have the potential to fully heal damaged muscles, bones and connective tissues at the cellular level, offering new solutions and hope for athletes and non-athletes alike whose physical performance or normal daily activities are limited.

The use of biologic or regenerative therapies to promote healing such as Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) or concentrated Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stem Cells (BMAC or MSC’s) have been studied both animals and humans since 1970, but gained more attention in the athletic community in the mid 90’s when national media reported on the use of these treatments by athletes such as Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Takashi Saito and Pittsburgh Steelers football player Hines Ward.

When an individual gets hurt after a sudden impact or fall, the body responds with an instantaneous and intense inflammatory response at the injury site stimulating the injured tissue to begin the healing process. Every tissue in the body has the ability to regenerate itself. However, the regeneration process is overshadowed by an evolutionary selected “quick-fix” know as scarring.

Scar tissue in not normal tissue and is susceptible to re-injury. Ultimately, we want to decrease that scarring event and accentuate that innate regenerative process of the injured cells. Now, we have the capability to apply regenerative cells found in our blood, bone marrow and/or adipose tissues at appropriate times after an injury, to actually reverse this process and jump start the tissues regenerative capabilities. Tissue healing responses may be different depending on the tissue treated and whether or not the injury is the result of a single incident, like a sudden muscle or ligament tear, or a reoccurring condition, such as tendonitis.

Today, regenerative therapies like PRP, BMAC or MSC’s have been utilized to treat a variety of injuries in professional, collegiate, high school and recreational athletes, non-athletes, musicians and performing artists. Common areas treated include elbow, ankle and knee ligament tears, hip injuries, tennis elbow, rotator cuff tears, Achilles tendonitis, hamstring and other muscle tears, joint injuries and arthritis to name a few.

Regenerative medicine treatments with platelet rich plasma (PRP) have become an excepted first line therapy for baseball players that have injured a specific elbow ligament by throwing. Such injuries typically require a reconstruction surgery known as a Tommy John procedure, followed by an average 14 to 18 month rehabilitation program before returning to play. However, we can now give PRP treatments as an alternative to surgery. PRP can be administered in physician’s office and the expected recovery period is shortened to 12 to 14 weeks compared to a much lengthier post surgical recovery.

Podesta L et al: Clinical Applications of Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy. In Maxey L, Magnusson J (eds) 3rd ed: Rehabilitation for the Postsurgical Orthopaedic Patient. Mosby, 2012.
Podesta L, Crow S, Volkner D, Bert T, Yocum L. Treatment of Elbow Partial Ulnar Collateral Ligament Tears with Platelet Rich Plasma. American Journal of Sports Medicine, June 2013.

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Dr. Podesta has had more than 26 years of experience treating professional musicians, dancers and other performing artists. Since 2009, he has been a contributing writer, called the Rhythmic Physician, for DRUM! Magazine, writing articles on health-related conditions afflicting drummers and percussionists.

Dr. Podesta has a thorough understanding of the physical demands required by musicians to perform, playing several instruments himself. He is an expert in analyzing the injuries sustained by drummers, percussionists, guitar and keyboard players, dancers and other performing artists with a proven track record of keeping the Best of the Best on stage performing safely.

Dr. Podesta has served as the Performance Medicine Consultant for the Los Angeles based Cirque du Soleil show Iris, and continues to serve as the personal physician for many of the music industries most iconic stars and bands.

podesta drums

Testimonial Stories


Office Locations - Blue Surgery Locations: Green Outpatient Rehabilitation Locations: Red